Caitlin Caspi, ScD

Associate Professor, Allied Health Sciences

Rudd Center

Research Overview

Caitlin Caspi, ScD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences and serves as the Director of Food Security Initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. She joined the Department of Allied Health Sciences as Associate Professor in 2020, coming from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Dr. Caspi is a social epidemiologist with a research interest in evaluating policies and interventions addressing the social determinants of health, particularly diet and obesity. She currently serves as the Principal Investigator on two NIH R01 studies addressing food insecurity and diet-related health disparities. The first is a group-randomized study evaluating the impact a behavioral economic intervention (SuperShelf) in food pantries on dietary outcomes of adults experiencing food insecurity. The second is a natural experiment testing the effect of the Minneapolis Minimum Wage Ordinance, which incrementally raises the minimum wage in Minneapolis to $15 an hour, on diet-related measures and obesity.


ScD Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health 2012
ScM Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health 2008

Recent Publications

Caspi CE, Winkler MR, Lenk KM, Harnack LJ, Erickson DJ, Laska MN. Store and neighborhood differences in retailer compliance with a local staple foods ordinance. BMC Public Health, 2020;20(1):172.

Laska MN, Caspi CE, Lenk K, Moe SG, Pelletier JE, Harnack LJ, Ericson DJ. Evaluation of the first U.S. staple foods ordinance: Impact on nutritional quality of small and non-traditional food store offerings, customer purchases and home food environments. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2019; 16(1):83.

Caspi CE, Canterbury M, Grannon K, Bain J, Bohen L, Peterson H, Kottke T. A behavioral economics approach to improving healthy food selection among food pantry clients. Public Health Nutrition. 2019; 22(12):2303-2313.

Shanafelt A, Magliocco B, Milbrath K, Nanney MN, Caspi CE. An economic analysis of updating and expanding school breakfast program offerings in high schools. Journal of School Health, 2019. 89 (5): 417-422.

Nanney MS, Leduc R, Hearst M, Shanafelt A, Wang Q, Shroeder M, Grannonn K, Kubik M Caspi C, Harnack L. A group randomized intervention trial increases participation in the School Breakfast Program in 16 rural high schools in Minnesota. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2019; 119(6):915-922.

Caspi CE, Grannon KY, Wang Q, Nanney MS, King RP. Refining and implementing the Food Assortment Scoring Tool (FAST) in food pantries. Public Health Nutrition, 2018; 21 (14), 2548-2557.

Caspi CE, *Pelletier J, Harnack L, Erickson D, Lenk K, Laska MN. Pricing of staple food items at supermarkets versus small food stores. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2017; 14, 915.

Caspi CE, Lenk K, Pelletier J, Barnes T, Harnack L, Erikson D, Laska MN. Association between store environment and customer purchases in small grocery stores, gas-marts, pharmacies and dollar stores. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2017; 14:76.

Taillie LS, Grummon A, Fleishhacker S, Grigsby-Toussaint D, Leone L, Caspi CE. Best practices for using natural experiments to evaluate retail food and beverage interventions and policies. Nutrition Reviews, 2017; 75(12):971-989.

Caspi CE, Wang Q, Shanafelt A, Larson N, Wei S, Nanney MS. School breakfast program participation and rural adolescents’ purchasing behaviors in food stores and restaurants. Journal of School Health, 2017; 87(10):723-731.

Caspi CE, Lenk K, Pelletier JE, *Barnes T, Harnack L, Erikson D, Laska MN. Food and beverage purchases in small grocery stores, gas-marts, pharmacies and dollar stores. Public Health Nutrition, 2017; 20(14):2587-2597.

Caspi CE, *Friebur R, Davey CS, Nanney MS. Results of a pilot intervention to improve dietary outcomes among adults experiencing food insecurity. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, 2017; 12(1):77-88.

Caspi CE, Tucker-Seeley R, Adamkiewicz G, Stoddard A, Sorensen G. Food hardship and obesity in a sample of low-income immigrants. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 2017; 19:130-137.

Caspi CE, Davey CS, Nelson TF, Larson N, Kubik MY, Coombes B, Nanney MS. Disparities persist in nutrition policies and practices in Minnesota secondary schools. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2015; 115(3):419-425

Caspi CE, Kawachi I, Subramanian SV, Adamkiewicz G, Sorensen G. The relationship between diet and perceived and objective access to supermarkets among low-income housing residents. Social Science and Medicine 2012; 75:1254-1262.

Caspi CE, Kawachi I, Subramanian SV, Sorensen G. The food environment and diet: A systematic review. Health and Place 2012; 18 :1172–1187.


Contact Information
Mailing Address1 Constitution Plaza
Suite 600
Hartford, CT
Office LocationRudd Center